The DETOA, Albrechtice pod Bukovou horou, no. 6

The founder of the company, Johann Schowanek, came from Paseky nad Jizerou. He started a business in Desná in 1896, here opening an enterprise for the production of turned products called "Mechanische Drechslerei Schowanek". The successful businessman then decided to build a new factory complex. So in 1906 he bought extensive land between the River Kamenice and the RGTE railway track at the station in Jiřetín pod Bukovou. The Schowanek factory complex was successively built from 1907, in 1913 and between 1935 and 1938. The first building was constructed by Umann and Krause, a company from Polubný. The three-storey production building constructed in 1913 was the work of architect Robert Hemmrich from Jablonec and builder Hájek from Rokynice. Two wings were added, each of two floors, made using a reinforced concrete frame from Pittel & Brausewetter. The final, symmetrical appearance of the complex was completed in Hemmrich’s architectural concept of Classicism and Art Deco. Production from 1908 onwards concentrated on fine wood processing. The company soon became a world-renowned producer  of  wooden  toys,

beads and wooden costume jewellery. Operation was limited during the First World War, mainly to the production of buttons for military uniforms. The production of wooden toys was added in 1927, with the popular YO-YO being made here from 1932 onwards. Models of battleships, planes and other weaponry were then made during the Second World War. After 1945, when the factory was nationalised, the original production line was restored, this time under the name of Tofa, and the range was broadened to include mechanisms for upright pianos and pianos for musical instrument makers such as Petrof. The company passed into private hands in 1993 and under the new name of DETOA Albrechtice, s. r. o. continues in the tradition of production. The enterprise is again a unique producer of wooden toys and costume jewellery in Central Europe. A museum exhibit on the factory grounds and an excursion to the individual parts of the production plant and to the creative workshop allow visitors to learn about a production tradition of more than 100 years.

www.detoa.cz

Edited by OHK v Jablonci nad Nisou
Translation: EDUCA – vzdělávací centrum, s.r.o., Jablonec nad Nisou

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